No, he didn't have inside information from Indianapolis scouts or coaches. No, he didn't get a phone call from Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning telling him he wanted Tamme on the roster. But Phillips did have his own inside information.
He knew tight end Ben Utecht had played in 41 games, including 30 starts, for the Colts the last three years. While Dallas Clark is the big-name tight end at Indianapolis, Utecht had been an efficient player with 71 catches for 800 yards and three touchdowns, including 2007 when he had 31 catches for 364 yards and a score. Utecht, though, had left the Colts to sign a free-agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.
"I coached Ben when he was at Minnesota," Phillips said. "I knew what kind of kid and player he was. He's just like Tamme. That's why I thought that is where Tamme would go. I predicted that."
Indianapolis made Tamme a third-round choice, gave him a $450,000 signing bonus and now will hope he can fill Utecht's role.
"Tamme is faster than Ben, which should really help him," Phillips said. "Ben, like Tamme, was a wide receiver when he came to Minnesota. I convinced him to move to tight end — and he did not like it.
"But I am not sure Jacob really liked it, either, until after the Tennessee game (his sophomore year when he caught two touchdown passes in his first game at the position). Then he got to where he loved it, just like Ben did."
Phillips says Tamme and Utecht are similiar in one more important way.
"Tamme will do whatever the coaches there want. That's how Ben was. Coaches love those kind of kids. That's why I knew all along that Tamme was a good fit for the Colts," Phillips said.
VAUGHT: Phillips' prediction was accurate
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